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  • Writer's pictureAmy Richburg

Bunny Enrichment: Foraging & Puzzle Toys

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. Any advice given on Fairy Trail Rabbitry is not meant to be used in place of professional consultation, especially in the treatment and diagnosis of illness. I always recommend doing your own research and learn new things myself everyday. This post contains affiliate links. We are affiliates and may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on our affiliate links. Thank you!


Why do rabbits need enrichment?


You may be wondering what enrichment is and why it is important to your bunny? In the wild rabbits are kept very busy digging, exploring, jumping, hiding, and foraging for food. Bunnies are naturally very curious, intelligent, and active, as a result they can easily become bored. A bored bunny will often resort to destructive behaviors such as digging & chewing and when not given a proper outlet for this natural behavior, they may even start destroying your home. This is where enrichment comes in! In the simplest sense, enrichment is providing your bunny with an outlet to safely exhibit their natural behaviors. There are several different kinds of enrichment for rabbits, but in this article we will be focusing on cognitive enrichment with foraging and puzzle toys. Puzzle/foraging toys are very mentally stimulating for your rabbit, so these kinds of toys are a great way to prevent boredom, keep your bunny happy and engaged, and overall improve their quality of life!


Bellatrix Cream VM Holland Lop Doe

How to use puzzle and foraging toys for rabbits


Instead of feeding your bunny in a bowl, you can hide their pellets, treats, or veggies in these toys to make use of your rabbit's natural foraging instincts and sense of smell, which will help to add a little more fun and variety to your bun's meal time! Plus these toys (because they involve food) might also be more enticing for some buns who are reluctant to play with other toys. You may need to show your bun how the toy works before they start using it, but most buns will catch on pretty quickly. There are lots of different types of puzzle/foraging toys for rabbits, which I will highlight below as well as provide links to a few options. It is a good idea to make use of several kinds of toys and rotate them to keep your bunny interested. Keep reading to find out some of the best enrichment toys you can offer your bunny, hopefully this list will be helpful to inspire bunny parents on the different ways they can add enrichment to their bun's life!


Baby Stacking Cups


First off on our list, we have baby stacking cups! While these might not seem like an obvious choice for a rabbit enrichment toy since they weren't originally designed for bunnies, you might be surprised how wonderfully these work for buns and if you follow the pet rabbit community you may have already seen what a hit they are with bunnies around the world. Stacking cups are super easy to use, we simply put a few pellets/treats in each cup, stack them up, and then give them to our bunnies to enjoy! Most of our Holland Lop bunnies absolutely love their stacking cups and will unstack them, toss them around, and play with them. It is the cutest thing to witness! There are lots of different color themes available to fit your home, just make sure that you get the hard plastic kind rather than the soft kind so that your bun won't be able to accidentally chew and ingest them. Here are some of our favorites


This set of eight The First Years Stack N Count Cups is a wonderful and very affordable toy! It also adds a bright pop of color to any space. These cups work wonderfully for our buns and they love to play with and throw them!


Colorful The First Years Stack N Count Cups

If you are looking for something a little more aesthetically pleasing, the Mushie Stacking Cups are amazing and absolutely beautiful! They are a little lighter weight but are still very durable, and have the cutest little shapes in the bottoms of the cups. I love everything about them! They come in four different color schemes: Original, Petal, Retro, and Forest.



Treat Balls


Treat balls are another favorite enrichment toy of our bunnies! We just fill them up with pellets/treats and our buns will get so excited to roll them around and get the food out. These toys keep them busy and happy for ages! Our buns love them so much, so if you don't already have one for your bun(s) I highly recommend getting one. The kind we use comes in either a set of two or a set of six (which is perfect if you have multiple bunnies!) both of which come with a little brush to keep them clean.



I have also heard wonderful things about the Oxbow Enriched Life Wobble Teaser which functions in a similar way to the above mentioned treat balls, so I definitely recommend trying it out as well!


Oxbow Enriched Life Wobble Teaser

You can also use something like this puzzle ball with larger holes to hide leafy greens and veggies in, which will encourage your bun to roll it around and work to get them out and eat them.


Puzzle Treat Ball With Larger Holes

Snuffle Mats


Next up are snuffle mats also called foraging mats! These are a super fun way to feed your bun treats/pellets and slow down their eating. They were originally made for dogs but have since been adapted for bunnies as well, so there are tons of different styles/colors and you will be sure to find something perfect for your space! Snuffle mats are usually made from soft fleece fabric and are machine washable in case of an accident. To use them, you just lightly sprinkle your pellets or forage (dried bunny safe herbs and flowers) on the mat and/or hide them under the flaps, so your bun will have to use their sense of smell to forage. As a bonus, snuffle mats are also usually great way to add to your bunny's space and aesthetic! You can find lots of different options on Amazon and Esty


The Tokihut Rabbit Foraging Mat features a colorful collection of fruits/vegetables and looks so beautiful in almost any space. This mat is very beloved by many pet owners and bunnies around the world!


Tokihut Rabbit Foraging Mat

Here are some more examples of snuffle mats you can find on Amazon: Sunflower Snuffle Mat, Rabbit Snuffle Mat, Gray and White Snuffle Mat, & Blue Rabbit Snuffle Mat.



These Rainbow Snuffle Mats from PoppyseedPaws on Esty are also very aesthetically pleasing and come in a variety of color schemes including: Roo, Malibu, Lopsy, Cinnabun, Ollie, and Starbucks.



Puzzle Toys


Puzzle toys are another wonderful cognitively enriching toy for bunnies! While some puzle toys are very easy for bunnies to figure out, this kind of toy generally requires a little more work to find the hidden treats/food than the previously listed toys and is therefore very mentally stimulating and a great boredom breaker for your bunny. There are several different options and dog puzzle toys can oftentimes be repurposed for bunnies as well.


The Living World Teach N Treat Toy has three levels so once your bunny figures one out you can change the level to keep them engaged, and once you have tried them all, you can rotate through the levels to keep your bun from getting bored.


The Living World Teach N Treat Toy

Here are a few other puzzle toy options to try out: TRIXIE Rabbit Snack Board, DOZZOPET Wooden Enrichment Foraging Toy, and Penerl Dog Slow Feeder.



DIY Enrichment Toys


Last but not least on our list, are diy toys! The possibilities for diy toys are endless and sometimes buns will love them even more than store bought toys. Just make sure you are using materials that are safe for bunnies and feel free to be creative. Here are a few ideas to get you started!


DIY Toilet Paper Roll Treat Dispenser

This is a very simple and fun toy that our bunnies love to play with! All you need is a cardboard toilet paper roll (you can also use a paper towel roll), a pair of scissors, and some treats, pellets, forage, or veggies to put in your toy. I like to cut a few holes in each side of the roll, and then I fold up one end, fill with food, fold up the other end, and then give it to our buns to enjoy! They love to toss the rolls around and roll them all over to get the treats out.


DIY Rabbit Vegetable Clothesline

Another fun and easy idea is making a rabbit clothesline with vegetables! All you need for this is bunny safe string/twine, clothespins, and bunny safe veggies (you can check out a list here). Simply, hang the veggies on the string with the clothespins and hang it up for your bunny to enjoy!

 
Fairy Trail Rabbitry is a very small family-run indoor Holland Lop Rabbitry in Kentucky focused on raising loving companions and providing bunny care info and tips to both new and experienced bunny parents! All of our buns are also our beloved pets and are very loved and spoiled. We are dedicated to helping bunnies around the world live happy, healthy, binky full lives!
 

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